Activity 5: The Functions of Money
Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Handout 1, Purposes and Roles of Money
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Read Handout 1, Purposes and Roles of Money. Copy for all participants.
- Write on newsprint, leaving space after each item. Post:
- ECONOMIC – How have you used money to gain, reallocate, or transfer things of value?
- SOCIOLOGICAL – How has money been involved in the exercise of power or influence between you and others?
- PSYCHOLOGICAL – How has money served as vehicle for individual meaning making and deeper understanding?
- Using the questions in the activity description, prepare examples of the ways money has functioned as an (1) economic, (2) social, and (3) psychological force in your life.
Description of Activity
Distribute handout and introduce the activity, saying: “Money serves many purposes in our lives, some obvious and some more subtle. The handout lists a number of them.” Invite volunteers to read aloud the roles and purposes section of the handout and invite participants to add new statements to the list, recording them on newsprint.
Then, invite participants to consider how money serves economic, sociological, and psychological functions in their lives. Call attention to the newsprint you have posted and provide your own brief examples of each of the three. Ask:
- Where recently has money functioned in your life most significantly as an economic force? How have you used money to gain, reallocate, or transfer things of value?
- Where recently has money functioned in your life most significantly as a sociological force? How has money been involved in the exercise of power or influence between you and others?
- Where recently has money functioned in your life most significantly as a psychological force? How has money served as vehicle for individual meaning making and deeper understanding?
Keep discussion brief and fluid, allowing a few examples in each area. Ask a volunteer or your co-facilitator to record examples on the newsprint. To end discussion, restate that money acts as a vehicle for reallocating value, exercising power, and expressing personal meaning.
- In which examples were theological and spiritual issues at stake?
Give each participant a chance to identify one example mentioned in the group and explore briefly why it is spiritual or theological for them.